Tag Archives: time

Hogan. Hero. (and what have Besotted spotted?)

17 Apr

Another game unbeaten and 10 points out of 12 for Brentford as Bristol City were held 1-1 at Griffin Park on Saturday. A close to capacity crowd witnessed the unadulterated joy of Scott Hogan’s injury time equaliser as the Bees were officially assured of another season in a Championship that will now include relegated Aston Villa. And with Cardiff City, for whom it is is surely a case of ‘win or bust’ as they try to narrow a five point gap to the play offs, visiting on Tuesday there promises to be no let up in the action.

The Bees had free scoring Nico Yennaris back in midfield, giving supporters their first chance to see how the team would cope without the mercurial talent of Alan Judge. I think he’d have loved this one as Brentford were given freedom to run at the visitors in a first half where we did everything but score. With the destination of Kitman Bob’s stunning ‘giveaway’ prize hanging in the balance, there was an extra level of frisson to every thrust.

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Bob’s brilliant giveaway hung in the balance…

And so, not surprisingly, it was pantomime villain Lee Tomlin who ruined the script as he was allowed the freedom of Griffin Park to burst clear and fire home from the edge of the box just before half time.

The rotund striker certainly gave it large to the home fans as he celebrated the opener. Having been the victim of non-stop first half comments about his less than svelte figure, there was no surprise in his returning the taunts. Tomlin cupping his ear to the Ealing Road got the reaction one would expect.

The second half was a much more even affair. Tomlin was replaced by Peter Odemwingie for the visitors as Bristol City looked to double their lead. To be honest, most of us were just  surprised to see the striker on a West London football pitch rather than hanging around in his car outside a West London stadium.

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Odemwingie in match kit (rather than in a car park) as Tomlin takes the weight off his feet

Being equally honest, Brentford were lucky not to go 2-0 down when David Button raced out of his box to clear against the onrushing Bobby Reid and came off, what we’ll politely describe as, second best. With an open goal begging , albeit on a tight angle, only a wonderful challenge from Yoann Barbet spared the Bees’ blushes despite desperate shouts for a penalty from the visiting fans.

Lasse Vibe, looking to make it 6 goals in 4 games, had the best chance for Brentford. Peter Gilham was already switching on his microphone as the great Dane headed towards goal, only for City ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell to pull off a wonderful point blank save and tip it over for a corner.

The best chance that is, until the 87th minute. With the proverbial kitchen sink being chucked at City, substitute Scott Hogan won a penalty after being bodychecked by Nathan Baker. 595 days after that horrific injury at Rotherham, here was a chance for the returning striker to open his account for Brentford. Taking responsibility for the spot kick, he hit it had and low but a little bit too close to the City goalkeeper. The opportunity gone, that was it. Surely?

No. There’s a little thing at Griffin Park called ‘Jota time’. Hogan only had to wait a few more minutes, leaping to head home Jake Bidwell’s flick on for the equaliser. It prompted delirium in the stands and a passionate announcement from our own ‘man with the mic’. PG even shunted goal sponsors Siracusa Italian restaurant down the pecking order as he celebrated like the rest of us.

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Brentford ‘official’ mark the moment on Twitter

There was a time when it looked like Scott might never play again. There have been potentially demoralising set backs when it looked as though fitness was returning. Now, almost two years  later, he’d done it.

The club have stood by Scott and have now been rewarded. Here’s hoping this was the first of many to come. You could see what it meant to the players, his team mates and the supporters.

On day where posters appeared (a good spot, Beesotted) announcing “We’re the first to admit that this season hasn’t gone to plan”, it was wonderful to see something else unexpected – certainly at the start of the campaign  – happening.

Namely Scott reaching match fitness, starting to get a regular run of appearances and finishing with such confidence.

The video highlights have now been released and, of note, they also see the return to action of Mark Burridge in the BeesPlayer commentary box. the regular reader will be aware that our three match winning streak (after that dreadful run of defeats) coincided with his time off at the Atlanta Masters golf.

Far from being the jinx some had suggested he might be, what a wonderful moment for Mark to be back at the helm to see Scott get his first Bees’ goal. Welcome back Mr.Burridge.

Mark Burridge describes that big match action

As for those posters. We’ve all got eyes and have seen what is happening this time around. Nobody needs another list of the ‘lows’ whilst many supporters have found it hard after last season’s incredible story of Championship life for the Bees.

Whilst that opening comment would be akin to the captain of the Titanic saying  that her maiden voyage was blighted with a few teething issues, it was just nice to see the club engaging in a bit of honest comms. Any regular reader will know our constant decent into what Oliver Holt once called “anti-PR” has been a source of regular frustration over not just this season but last time, too.

We do loads of great stuff off the pitch (yesterday’s Fan Zone and Bob’s shirt comp being yet further examples). Comms are easy but they take guts sometimes. Fair play for recognising this.

We’re looking forward to moving up the Championship table next year” continued the announcement.

Hear, hear.

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Great spot from Beesotted

Nick Bruzon

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Will the axe swing ? To chop down Forest.

2 Apr

Well, something has to give today as Brentford travel to Nottingham Forest for the return of Championship action following the International break. With the Bees having lost 7(seven) out of the last 8 league fixtures and Forest 6 over the same period, this could be argued as a battle of the anti-form teams.

Equally, it could be argued as the start of a mini-renaissance for one of these two sides. The hosts are only 3 points better off than a Brentford side flirting with the fringes of the Championship relegation pack and so both will be desperate to get back to winning ways. Whilst I’d love to think that such a fate is nothing more a potential statistical anomaly (relegation rather than a return to winning ways) let’s not take anything for granted.

I’m sure we’ve all seen the graphic showing just how our campaign has mirrored that of 1992/93. Equally, nobody needs a reminder as to the denouement of that one. Another Nottingham team (County), ably abetted by a certain Mr.Biggar, denying Brentford a critical win in the 8th minute of alleged stoppage time. This, prior to the advent of the digital scoreboard that gives us some form of warning as to how long buttocks need to be clenched for, was immediately followed by the declaration of full time.

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Biggar – perhaps the programme editor’s typo upset him

Just to make things that bit tougher for the Bees today, not only are we looking like being another two down in midfield but Forest seem set to welcome back the goal scoring machine that is Britt Assombalonga. Having missed out through injury since February 2015, there could be no more dangerous challenge for a defence currently “having a bit of a lull” (Dean Smith’s words) than an ‘on song’ Assombalonga . And try saying that after a few pints.

So do Brentford fans have anything look forward to, aside from the pre/post match trip to Hooters ( noted purely for the burgers and proximity to the City Ground)? Well, we could also have our own changes ‘up top’. Whilst I’ve tipped Lasse Vibe to start today’s game, let’s not forget about both Scott Hogan and Everton loanee Leandro Rodriguez.

Scott, of course, having missed out for even longer than Britt following that horrible injury at Rotherham last season yet his return to action was about the only positive to be taken from the last game, at home to Blackburn. Or could Dean use the enforced absences in midfield to switch us to a more traditional two man attack including Leandro and a.n.other? Whilst I suspect that would be a bridge too far for a team set in its ways, at the very least having a few options in that area of the park marks a rare change for the Brentford head coach.

But for all his enthusiasm Scott has been out of action for an inordinate amount of time whilst Leandro is one to be filed very much in the category of ‘potential’. That’s not to doubt either player’s ability but simply to note that it would be unfair to expect either to hit the ground running and turn into instant saviours. Please, let’s not put the weight of expectation on these shoulders and, instead, remember we are an 11 man team.

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Scott’s return was the only highlight of a poor showing against Blackburn

Whatever has happened this season, the club are still tremendously well placed. I think back to that Biggar goal and remember just what a devastating blow it was . That utterly numb feeling of knowing we’d lost an incredible opportunity for reasons outside of our control.

Likewise, finishing second and losing to Huddersfield in the 94/95 play-off semi (the season when only the champions went up automatically) or the rarely mentioned incident of Marcello, Kev and ‘that penalty‘ .

I never want to experience those devastating lows again and, thankfully, we still have it well within ourselves to make sure that this season doesn’t even come close to that level of anguish. Besides, look at what happened to those teams who did go up at our expense the year of ‘that penalty’.

Doncaster Rovers are currently 22nd in League One and staring relegation in the face. Yeovil Town meanwhile, who of course kicked us out of the way in the subsequent play-off final, are now 21st in League Two. A return to non-league is a very real possibility.

So however frustrated you may feel at the moment, just remember that things could be an awful lot worse. We have a wonderful club and the chance to take on some huge Championship clubs awaits next season.

Forest stand in our way. Here’s hoping the axe swings.

Metaphorically speaking.

Nick Bruzon

 

Different sport, same result as Samuel L Jackson misses a trick

27 Oct

After following Brentford to Bolton on Saturday, Sunday saw a trip to Wembley for the NFL (American football) game between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions. Despite being a totally different sport to the one we call football and they call soccer, a visit to that stadium can only end in one thing – bitter defeat.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

 Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.